One hundred years, we used to speak of 'breaking' horses to being ridden by a person. Today we speak of 'gentling' horses to being handled and ridden by people who consider horses as companions. In the last 20 years, a veterinarian, Dr. Robert Miller, has helped to change the horse industry by demonstrating that imprint training of a foal in the first several hours and days after birth can increase lifelong gentle responsive behavior of horses to people and environmental stimuli. Today, with scientific understanding of natural behavior, we are seeing a revolution among horse trainers to accept kinder, gentler methods to manage behavior of horses.
Today we have multinational and multicultural recognition of the mutual benefits of the human animal bond to health and spirit. Animals offer companionship—someone to talk to who will not criticize. They are living responding beings to touch or hug with emotion. Animals keep us alert and help fulfill our need to nurture and comfort others.
Image: Hama, a Jindo dog in Korea who learned to perform Buddhist prayer rituals alongside monks. The temple is home to dozens of stray dogs.